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PA football chief ‘open’ as Israel vote looms at FIFA

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Palestinian football chief Jibril Rajoub on Thursday appeared to soften his stance on a threatened vote at the FIFA congress to expel Israel from world football’s governing body.

“We remain open until the last moment,” Palestinian FA president Rajoub told AFP.

“Everything is possible and we are open to every scenario,” added Rajoub, who met with embattled FIFA president Sepp Blatter on Wednesday.

Palestine, which has been a FIFA member since 1998, wants the governing body to expel Israel over its restrictions on the movement of Palestinian players.

It also opposes the participation in the Israeli championships of five clubs located in Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank.

The vote is scheduled for Friday and needs a two thirds majority of the 209 members to succeed.

Leaders of FIFA have been working hard behind the scenes to head off the vote. And last week Blatter even went to both Israel and the Palestinian territories to try and find a solution.

“Negotiations are still going on but they are very complicated,” a top FIFA official speaking on condition of anonymity told AFP on Wednesday.

“There may not be a solution until the final hours.” MAANNEWS

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